The revelation that two Iranians had bought and used stolen European passports to board the flight – Pouri Nourmohammadi and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, according to Interpol – initially sparked theories that a terrorist plot took down the plane.
But it appears that the two Iranians were planning to seek asylum in Europe, by way of Beijing, highlighting a common trend in the region: Iranians, Afghans, or Iraqis make their way to sympathetic countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, and then use stolen documents to find asylum in Europe or elsewhere.
“Indonesia usually gets all of the attention, but a lot of them are in Malaysia, too,” notes our correspondent on the ground in the region. “It’s not something they like to talk about.”
The Australian government’s recent crackdown on asylum seekers using Indonesia as a jumping-off point has drawn attention to the migration in the region.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.